Monday, February 6, 2017

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2016 via Lipulekh Pass - The Beginning


This is a travelogue about my Experience and Information on Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, which I took through Government of India (organized by MEA) via Lipulekh Pass route. KMY is organized by MEA between June to September with max of 60 pilgrims per batch. Pilgrims wishing to undertake this Yatra must hold a valid Indian passport and be between the age of 18-70 and medically fit. Another government approved route is through Nathula pass (starts from Sikkim). Few private operators also offer customized packages through Nepal route.

The idea of this blog is to acquaint people who wish to undertake the Yatra in future with relevant information, which is not adequately available on the web. And also to share my journey to the realm of Shiva and experiences I had. The purpose of my journal is to share my experiences and more importantly information that is not available online.

Make sure your passport has at least 6 months term left from the day of your travel else you will not be able to apply. Here's how to determine this: take the end date of the last batch (sometime in September, but see the exact date on KMY website and then add 6 months to it. If your passport expires before that, you must renew your passport to be eligible to apply.

May 5, 2016
I received a mail and SMS about my confirmation of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra for which one has to register through their website ( I was allotted batch #12 and days of my yatra were July 23 - Aug 16. I was a solo traveler on Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and all other co-travelers were unknown to me back then. This yatra was a homage to my father who was a mountain goat and would tell us that mountains are the best place to seek God’s attention.

Journey to Kailash Manasarovar was to find that inner silence, inner quietude, the mandala. I had to deposit Rs 5000 by May 13th to confirm my attendance for the yatra. Afterwards, I received a confirmation in a few days. The journey for a solo traveler would unfold in days to come..

Physical preparation for the Yatra
Since this yatra is long and arduous and covers more than 250 kms, one needs to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit. Especially if you wish to take this journey on foot without hiring a pony. My preparation started with cycling 20-30 kms a day alternating with 8kms walk, yoga and trekking in between. Immensely helpful was my uncle, Mr Rajinder Raina who already has done Kailash Manasarovar Yatra around 18 times. His valuable guidance really helped me in planning my yatra.

If you are a couch potato with poor physical fitness, it’s imperative that you build your stamina. Even if you plan to take pony, it’s critical to be fit and be ready to trek through regions where ponies can’t go.

Medical tips
Since I’m a Doctor, there are a few things, which I would like to bring to your notice. Never underestimate mountains and altitude. In my batch, we had multiple cases of high altitude, cerebral edema and pulmonary edema, who were managed by grace of Shiva. So, let’s look at certain pointers before you undertake the yatra:
  1. Stop smoking by all means.
  2. Start walking each day and consider Yoga and pranayama.
  3. Continue taking your anti hypertensive medicine (if taking currently). Do not stop on day of your medical tests as it will lead to very high blood pressure during the test, which will be aggravated by stress of not getting selected. Take your medicine very early morning with a sip of water.
  4. If you’re diabetic, do not forget to bring your glucometer with you to monitor your blood sugar levels.
  5. It’s advisable to get knee caps and ankle support. You might need them in case you inadvertently twist your ankle during long hikes through the extremely rugged Himalayan regions. One lady in our batch twisted her ankle, but with her grit and determination and ankle support, she completed her Yatra successfully.
  6. For people older than 50 yrs of age, it’s advisable to carry calcium and multivitamin supplements.
  7. It’s personal choice to get tetanus vaccination done prior to yatra If you have not had vaccination done in more than six months.
  8. Always make others in your batch aware of your allergies and any medical condition you have.
  9. Never taken acute mountain sickness lightly. Keep yourself hydrated with proper intake of water and never ignore even slightest symptoms of AMS, which include headache, nausea, etc
  10. Wrap your toe fingers and friction points in your feet with Doctor’s tape. You will thank me for this as it will help you minimize blisters. Additionally use, medicated dusting powder.
  11. Get a good sunscreen of SPF 50 or above, lipbalm and good quality sunglasses.
  12. Consider taking medical insurance through Insubuy, which is the only company globally that offers this service. Normal insurance carriers do not offer insurance for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra.
  13. Don't forget to carry medicines as mentioned in the brochure and always keep medical bag handy.
  14. Keep warm as the weather can deteriorate anytime and hypothermia can set in, as happened with one of my fellow yatris during our trek from Navidhang to Lipulekh pass.
  15. Don’t be taxed about medical tests at Gunji. Stress increases blood pressure. Have faith in scheme of things. Hope you find these tip useful.
To be continued..

A waterfall on way from gala to buddhi..

IMPORTANT ADVICE: We should be blessed that we are chosen for this yatra and it is our responsibility to not litter and keep Devbhoomi clean. Carry your plastic wraps that you use with you and dispose them later. Try to clean the trail. Tell your porter not to litter. Gutka and chips packets lie everywhere. Particularly distressing was to see shores of Manasarovar littered with used underwear packets, ghee packets, used sanitary napkins etc. It was distressing and abominable. A place, which is so pious to us must be respected by all of us and deserves a conscious effort by all yatris to lead a cleaning drive as and when possible. Don't forget to do your bit, even if others are not doing it. 

Click here to read next part of Yatra


  1. Brilliant piece of information..Look forward to more. Am getting tempted to take a plunge myself.

    1. thanks:)
      You must go, experience of a lifetime.

  2. Replies
    1. Awesome. Have applied this year alongwith Sangeeta. Let's see if we get to go this year. Will connect if we strike the lottery.

  3. Namaskar Dr.Varunaji. Please post the continuation parts.

    Hara Hara Mahadeva.

  4. I am in process of writing for help to fellow yatris
    om namah shivay :)

  5. Wonderful start. Looking forward to the entire series. Pranam to your mama ji :)

  6. Hi Varuna,

    Thank you for the great information!

    Had a question for you.

    The MEA website says they draw the lots on March 15th and people who make it to the list, are listed in the list on the KMY website. But in your blog I see you received the notification on May 5th.

    Did you see your name in the lottery results before you got the official SMS or did you come to know of it on May 5th for the first time?


    1. I take this opportunity to clarify Sri HHM.

      1. Last date for online application is 15th March 2017.
      2. MEA will subsequently conduct the draw. It may take 1-3 weeks after the last date.
      3. Selected candidates will be informed by SMS and also by mail about the batch number.

      Hope this clarifies you.


    2. Ramakrishna,

      I understand now.
      Thank you very much.


  7. I have been selected for this year Yatra. I am also a trekker and covered my medical and air evacuation through foreign based insurance company during my EBC trek. As I understand from the KMY info guide that we need to submit an undertaking for air evacuation in case of emergency mentioning who will bear the costs, so its really necessary for me to know if such foreign based insurance company will bear the costs of air evacuation that will done by Govt of India and not by the Insurance company. Generally we need to call such insurance company's support team for air evacuation after approval of which by them, they arrange helicopter of their own for air evacuation. As on this trek LO's decision would be final and if he does not allow such private arrangement on the ground of the unundertaking that we have submitted, whether taking such insurance would be helpful. If Govt will allow us to a avail the service under such private insurance coverage? Did you take any such insurance that covered air evacuation and high altitude trekking? Before I made this comment, I read all of your post in bcmtouring . Com 😊 I am also awaiting your further posts in this series. Thank you.

  8. I have been selected for yatra 2017 in first batch . I m keen to know about the weather conditions in june. Can you help? Most of the blogs on net have yatris who have travelled in July-aug.I need to know pros and cons of about travel in first batch.

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  10. Hi,

    I got selected for this year's yatra last batch. I would like to know about the weather conditions. In lot of blogs, its written "adverse weather conditions" but I can't find details about temperature. So its getting a bit difficult for clothing. Can you give some advice? Like how many days of normal tracking and how many days with strong winds and snow?

    Thanks in advance for your help..

  11. thanks a lot for putting so much info!


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